CMU Daily - on the inside 20 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Court date set for Kim perjury charges
- So, are the Lemonheads reforming?
- No Berlin Love Parade for 2004
- Darkness finale explosive
- Hip Hop Hall Of Fame announce ambitious plans
- Coxon: "it's not like Blur"
- Freestylers added to Homelands bill
- Vaughan gets some acclaim for day one
- Single Review: The Stills - Changes Are No Good
- US media fight back over FCC crack down
- WH Smiths in takeover talks
- Pop auctions all round
- The Browns reunite
- Former Credence man launches new label
- Westlife may quit if they don't get a hit

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COURT DATE SET FOR KIM PERJURY CHARGES
Confirmation yesterday that rapper Lil' Kim will be in court on 15 Nov to face those perjury charges. As previously reported, Kim was charged last week over allegations she lied during a Grand Jury investigation into a shooting which took place outside a Manhattan radio station in 2001, shortly after Kim had been interviewed at the station. The actual charges include one count of conspiracy, three counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction - the last of which could lead to ten years in prison.

The rapper's lawyer once again stressed his client's innocence, telling reporters: "Kim is not a criminal. These charges have been extracted out of context, magnified out of proportion. She's been singled out and used because of who she is in the music industry."

In the meantime Kim's legal people will try to have her case separated from that of her former manager Damion Butler and bodyguard Suif Jackson. They were also arrested last week accused of lying to the Grand Jury - however they are also suspected of being involved in the shooting (it is that involvement that Kim allegedly lied about), so the rapper's legal people reckon their charges should be dealt with separately.

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SO, ARE THE LEMONHEADS REFORMING?
Much speculation this morning as to whether rumours on various fan sites that the Lemonheads are to reform are true. According to the web rumours Evan Dando's band are due to reform for a tour of South America in May. If true the tour would be the band's first work together since their appearance at the 1997 Reading Festival. However a spokesman for Dando's UK label said he was not aware of any reunion, and that Dando was booked for a series of solo dates around the US.

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NO BERLIN LOVE PARADE FOR 2004
One of Europe's biggest dance music events - Berlin's Love Parade - may well become a thing of the past following news that organisers have failed to secure funding to stage a 2004 event.

Launched just months before the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the Love Parade quickly became one of the key events in the city's calendar attracting well over a million clubbers each year. However, with techno falling out of the spotlight in recent years, audience sizes have started to wane and with German companies slashing marketing budgets organisers can no longer find sufficient sponsorship money to make the event happen.

Last minute discussions with a cash-strapped city failed to secure any kind of financing deal, forcing organisers to tell reporters: "It is with great regret that we have to announce there definitely won't be a Love Parade in Berlin this year".

There is now speculation as to whether the annual event will return in 2005, or if this week's news essentially means an end for one of dance music's biggest parties.

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DARKNESS FINALE EXPLOSIVE
There was an all star audience at the final dates of the Darkness' US tour in LA this weekend. Celeb spotters report seeing, among others, Foo Fighter members Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, members of the Eagles and the Donnas, and both the Osbourne siblings in the audience. Such was the excitement of the final show at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Sunday night the sound system blew out - leaving the band's performance guitarless for a few minutes! All in all the Darkness' first US outing has been a huge success with every show a sell out and a number of additional dates added. Now, back to Britian, a few festivals, and then that tricky second album...

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HIP HOP HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCE AMBITIOUS PLANS
The people behind a new hip hop museum in New York have revealed plans to turn their Hall Of Fame into a wide-ranging enterprise.

The Hip Hop Hall Of Fame, which will open in November, will feature a mix of records and memorabilia that traces the history of the genre and the people behind it. But founders James 'JT' Thompson and Grandmaster Caz have revealed much more ambitious plans this week.

Among those plans are a new hip hop TV channel called Hip-Hop 1, which will broadcast via satellite networks in the US, initially for ten hours a week but with the aim of becoming a 24/7 operation. The duo also plan to stage an extensive programme of events, including an urban music, fashion and hip hop reunion festival.

They also hope to rekindle their annual Hip Hop Hall of Fame awards which they first staged in 1996 but which was always overshadowed by the much higher profile Source Hip Hop Awards. Thompson and Caz hope that once their New York base is open they will have a high enough profile to secure a decent TV slot for their awards.

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COXON: "IT'S NOT LIKE BLUR"
Graham Coxon has hit out at talk that his new solo material sounds quite Blur-esque - and in particular that his next single 'Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery' (out 3 May) sounds rather like Blur classic 'Coffee & TV'.
"It's not at all a resemblance. Rhythmically it is, but chordally it isn't at all. Most songs are mostly made up of major or minor chords and there's a lot of major chords in this like 'Coffee And TV' but the shapes of the chords are completely different. I had an awful lot to do with 'Coffee And TV'. It was an adopted child to me. It started off as an acoustic Damon (Albarn) demo vocal, and I guess I took it the way I thought it would benefit, to write the lyrics and sing it. There will always be similarities between Blur and my stuff as I was responsible for quite a lot of the flavour of Blur songs."

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FREESTYLERS ADDED TO HOMELANDS BILL
Another addition to the already fine looking Homelands line up - and now it's looking finer. The Freestylers were yesterday added to the line up for the festival's live arena which already includes Faithless, The Music, Scissor Sisters, Lamb and Loose Cannons. The appearance comes as the duo release their fantastic new album 'Raw As F**k'. More info, as always, at http://www.welovehomelands.com

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VAUGHAN GETS SOME ACCLAIM FOR DAY ONE
"It's an honour to be here in the great chair of Tarrant. As soon as I put the headphones on I felt like leaving here on the dot of nine and going fishing." And so the Johnny Vaughan breakfast show on Capital Radio began - with the flagship London station hoping they can successfully survive the post-Tarrant era without any major dips in their RAJAR figures or ad revenue.

Initial reviews seem to be good for the Vaughan show with many in the media press talking up the first morning performance from a presenter more familiar with TV. However time will tell if the show will truly deliver for the station - acclaim within the industry does not necessarily secure the mainstream London audience the station needs to maintain its position in the market.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Stills - Changes Are No Good (Vice/679)
This is great - one of the finest moments from the moody Montreal rockers' album 'Logic Will Break Your Heart' - and definitely one of my favourite songs of the moment. With a melancholic intensity but melodic leanings of 80's guitar bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, this is very cool - play it. JW
Release date: 19 Apr
Press contact: Cool Delta [CP, CR] Hall or Nothing [RP, NP] Alan James [RR, NR]

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US MEDIA FIGHT BACK OVER FCC CRACK DOWN
It's not often you say hurray for Murdoch, but, erm, hurray for Murdoch. The Fox Network in the US has joined MTV owner Viacom and a number of smaller broadcasters to petition the main US media regulator, the FCC, over what they see as increasingly unnecessary interference in the name of 'decency'.

As reported at length, ever since the controversy surrounding the 'Nipplegate' incident during the Superbowl half time show earlier this year, the FCC has been cracking down on both radio and TV networks over any programming that could be deemed vaguely offensive.

Initially most of the media networks went along with the crack down. MTV stepped up its censorship of music videos, live TV shows started going out with time delays and radio networks like Clear Channel axed its more controversial output, such as Bubba The Love Sponge and Howard Stern. However the media giants are now preparing to fight back.

The petition centres on the so called 'Bono decision'. As previously reported, the FCC recently went back on a previous ruling regarding a speech made by the U2 singer at a televised awards show when he described winning an award as "f**king brilliant". Despite some complaints the FCC initially ruled the use of the word was not offensive in context. However some inside the regulator were not happy with that ruling and following Nipplegate used the seemingly high tide of support for tighter controls on the media to change the ruling and to fine NBC, the network who aired the awards event.

Commenting on their petition, the lawyer representing the broadcasters told reporters yesterday: "The FCC's harsh new policy has sent shock waves through the broadcast industry and is forcing licensees to censor speech that unquestionably is protected by the First Amendment. The FCC consciously assumed the role of a national arbiter of good taste, and its decision already is exerting a chilling effect."

NBC, which is not actually part of the group of media owners making the stand, is expected to issue its own petition against the Bono ruling later this week.

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WH SMITHS IN TAKEOVER TALKS
WH Smiths this weekend admitted they were in talks with a consortium led by two former executives regards a takeover. Keith Hammill, who used to oversee the Smiths group's music operations when they owned the Virgin Our Price chain, and Keith Hammill, a former Smiths finance director, have joined forces with venture capitalists Permira to make an offer for the books, music, video and newsagency chain.

Commenting on reports of the takeover offer, a spokesman for WH Smiths confirmed the company was talking to Permira adding: "As the approach is preliminary and there are a number of pre-conditions to the making of any offer, there can be no certainty that an offer for the company will be made."

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POP AUCTIONS ALL ROUND
More pop auctions, this one in Dallas, and among the big sales was a guitar that once belonged to Kurt Cobain and the piano on which Elton John wrote 'Your Song'. The former went for £65,000 while Elton's piano fetched some £91,500. The guitar in question was bought by Cobain back in 1990 in San Francisco, although he sold it two years later.

Talking of pop auctions, auction website Moments in Time is offering a note featuring what is believed to be the last ever autograph signed by John Lennon - bidding is currently up to $325,000 (£179,000). It was previously assumed the last Lennon autograph was that given to Mark Chapman, six hours before he shot the singer. However it now seems a switchboard operator called Rabiah Seminole who worked at Lennon's New York recording studio asked for an autograph just before Lennon was shot. It is that autograph that is up for sale - its value may be higher because Lennon included a little self portrait alongside his name. Seminole is selling it to raise money for her Virginia horse sanctuary. Commenting on the auction, she told reporters: "I didn't want to capitalise on John's death, but he was a nature lover and I think he would have wanted me to sell it for the horses."

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THE BROWNS REUNITE
Yesterday the serious news that James Brown is to play a London gig. Now back to the gossip. James Brown is set to reunite with his wife Tomi Rae following the couple's high profile run in a few months back which led to Brown being arrested on domestic violence charges last week. But it's no simple reunion.

Firstly Tomi Rae is finally going to get around to divorcing a former husband called Javed Ahmed who she apparently married in Houston in 1997 prior to marrying Brown. Obviously without that divorce her marriage to the godfather of soul was pretty suspect anyway.

To that end Brown is going through with his bid to annul his marriage to Tomi Rae. Shortly after the aforementioned altercation Brown announced he was seeking the annulment on the grounds the marriage was not legal.

However once both those bits of paperwork are completed, the couple then intend to marry again - this time legally. Phew! And somewhere along the lines Brown will have to visit court to face those outstanding domestic violence charges.

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FORMER CREDENCE MAN LAUNCHES NEW LABEL
The former boss of EMI's Parlophone-affiliated dance label Credence is launching a new label subtly titled C2. Having not long left the major, Mark Brown already has his first release on the new label sorted - and it's from an artist who has previous chart success via Credence - Lee Cabrera.

Commenting on his new label Brown told reporters: "C2 will continue where Credence left off and and provide the highest quality electronic and dance music."

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WESTLIFE MAY QUIT IF THEY DON'T GET A HIT
Well, if you're having a week like mine (Mac keyboard knackered after coffee spillage, PC knackered cos it's a PC, ADSL down just to add insult to injury), then here's a ray of sunshine. Westlife have said they will quit if their next single isn't a hit.

According to the ever reliable Daily Star, Nicky Byrne has said: "If the next record doesn't work then, yeah, it might be the end. But, if it does work out, it's definitely not the end, it's as simple as that. We'll get the record out and, hopefully, it will be very successful. But we're not trying to fool anybody. We've had a fantastic career and we really want to continue it. But it's up to us four to make the effort."

Lead singer Shane Filan added: "We love what we do but we know that our shelf-life will run out soon. We'd like to carry on forever but that's not really up to us, it's up to the fans."

Of course the comments may be a clever attempt to encourage the band's remaining fan base to buy the single and in doing so overcome the growing speculation post-Bryan McFadden's departure that the boy band are on their way out.

Either way, we're getting that commitment in writing so we can hold them to it should things swing our way.

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